Saturday, October 31, 2009


This is a low quality cell phone picture. I am going to put better ones on later...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Plodders Need Not Apply?

What's your take on this New York Times article about slow people running marathons?

The best part is that one of the people quoted complaining about the slow people ran her marathon in it's not as if she's exactly in danger of winning a marathon anytime soon herself.

And as usual, the comments are more fun than the article itself...I'm slowly making my way through all 400 if I can!

(And for credit, I found the article through this blog! She somehow dug up the email addresses of two of the people quoted in the article, I wonder if anyone who reads her blog had the nerve to actually write them!)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


70 degrees, planned track workout after school...and Fred calls to say Andra needs to go to the doctor. He took her while I found a sub for the rest of the day, wrote out plans for today and tomorrow, and generally kind of freaked out. Turns out she has croup. That sounded bad to me when he told me over the phone, and I didn't have time to Google it, so I expected it to be kind of bad when I got home around 10:30. But, no, same happy kid (with a drippy nose of course). I guess with croup, it's especially bad at night but tends to improve during the day. So I missed this morning's barking like a seal, but will probably get to hear it tonight. The doctor prescribed a corticosteroid to help the inflammation though, which should help.

I don't like that I don't see Andra most mornings. It's what works, in that she sleeps til 7:30 or 8 and if I got her up before I left at 7, that would mean Fred would have to get up early (not something he would like). He did really well, though, he knew something was wrong and took care of it. (I probably would've still taken her to daycare...I mean, seriously, when the kid is happy all the time I'm not sure how you're supposed to know when they're too sick).

So, no speed work today, but we'll do a BOB run. Close enough.

UPDATE: hour BOB walk with Jessica and Kate, then a late night speed workout at the gym. It was short, only 3.5 miles (1@7:18, .5@8ish and .25@7ish) because my ankle was acting up. Weird, it's never done this. Felt weak, sort of like it was going to give out when I was running hard. It cracked on its own once, which helped for about 5 seconds. It's a little annoying, I don't think it's going to be a permanent thing but I do think it's related to the crepitus issue. Gross.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun Run!

Had last period free today and busted out right after the bell rang, changed and drove to my favorite running loop. It's 6.25 miles (I thought it was closer to 6.5). I was seriously looking forward to this ALL DAY, and that hasn't happened in a while! Perfect weather. I ran comfortably, which was harder than usual this time. Pace was just under 9:00 miles, and that includes 3 minutes of walking a ginormous, steep hill. Similar to my 10k pace a month ago, yet this felt much easier. I'm guessing my BOB runs really are helping me.

I went after the run to pick up Andra and then to the doctor, to discuss getting a cortisone injection in my ankle. My rheumatologist doesn't like that it's been swollen and warm for 2 years now. No damage, which is great, but damage comes from inflammation, so...But the foot and ankle guy I saw (the same one I went to for my Achilles) didn't think it was such a great idea now. He said if it flares, come back, they'll do an MRI and then inject it. I tried to explain that the ankle doesn't really flare...I mean, it has once or twice, but it's a chronic thing, with a pain that is really hard to explain. He said he couldn't tell where to inject it (there are lots of places in the ankle I guess) because the swelling was minimal (I've been on a small prednisone dose for a 2 weeks, as switching to a generic drug 2 months ago caused things to just not be quite right). So...whatever. I did want to see if the injection would help the ankle feel better, but at the same time I was skeptical and so was he. The annoying thing lately is that when I'm doing lunges and bending the ankle like that, it crunches...I guess crepitus is the correct term. I think once I posted about crepitus in my wrists. That is gone now, yay, but it's really just an icky, creepy sound and feeling.

Thanks to those who said teaching is in fact a good thing to do...I don't disagree, it's just that I think anything from the outside looks better than from the inside. Honestly, I might connect in a lasting way with a couple kids a year. The rest are, by and large, really nice pains in the ass. Maybe after 9 years it's just a little stale, and I don't really want to put much more into it at the moment. I'd rather sit around and wonder what else I can be when I grow up!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Whatifs

Every month (or quarter? not sure) I get my college's alumni magazine. I went to Williams College, which has more than its fair share of alums with impressive jobs, inspirational lives, etc. I always feel an odd twinge of something when I see it in the mailbox, and put off actually opening it until I have enough quiet time to deal with the feelings of inadequacy that come with seeing how people with the same college experience as I have done such important, "successful" things with their lives. Don't get me wrong, I really like my life, especially now that I have Andra. Yet, there's always the what ifs...(Shel Silverstein wrote a great poem about the Whatifs, I found it again here.)

What if I hadn't dropped out of grad school the first time?
What if I'd gone to law school, or vet school, instead of teaching school (ha, that sounds so lame)?
What if I hadn't taken this particular job in Connecticut?
What if I'd studied abroad in college?
What if...on and on and on....

At any rate, some days I play this game a lot. Sitting at Starbucks grading last weekend, I looked around at the clientele. I got to thinking along the lines of, what if I'd married that guy in loafers and a polo shirt with his collar turned up, probably someone in finance who comes from old money...would I then be like his wife, clearly more concerned with fashion and ordering the right coffee drink that with what is going on in the world? What if I'd gotten in with her kind of crowd (arguably hard NOT to do in this area), would I, too, care about my shoes and sweaters and give up my preferred jeans and fleece look? (Despite what that might sound like, I wasn't thinking mean thoughts about these was just what if (and a nice distraction from grading)).

I guess it makes me just wonder if I'm doing enough. Sometimes I feel pretty uninspired, uninspiring on some important level. Probably something everyone feels! Even those whom I would consider the inspiring ones.

To resolve some of those issues, I've decided to "go back to college." I looked online at Williams' course catalog, hoping to find a course I wanted to take, with a plan of emailing the professor for the syllabus and reading list and just pretending I had all these assignments. I got a bit overwhelmed with the reality of that though, and opted instead to start reading some non-fiction books I'd forgotten I wanted to read. I'm almost done with my first, Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. At the very least, I want to start THINKING again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Found it...

I tried to find the speed workout after school yesterday (yes, Mama Simmons, we do have a track...I opted for the warmer treadmill though!). I hemmed and hawed (what does that exactly mean) and probably loked pretty funny as I went down a few stairs toward the fitness center, changed my mind and went back up, went outside, went back in...but finally I did make it to the coaches' locker room. I procrastinated a bit more talking to another teacher, then went in to change. Only to realize that I only had one shoe. I took that as fate and went home. (The other shoe was in my car, but it was too late...I wasn't going back.)

So yesterday was a wash (Andra and I went swimming instead!) but today I dutifully brought the same bag (with 2 shoes this time) back to school and went running at lunch. 4 miles total, 1 at 8:00, 2 x .5@ 7:30, 1 x .25 @ 7:00, with 10:00 pace in between it all. Quick shower, and my E period is coming in for class right now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where is that speed workout????

Somehow despite not paying much attention, I am firmly 1 pound above my pre-pregnancy weight. Which was also my marathon weight. So, I think I need to stop thinking in those terms and just realize that I'm back and what happens from now on is all me and has nothing to do with pregnancy or breastfeeding anymore! My belly is still a bit squishy. My abs are back, have been for a long time, it's either that my skin is still stretchy or I just have a bit more fat there still. But, the rest of me looks pretty much like before, my arms might even be better!

I keep meaning to add a weekly speed workout. I really DO want to run a fast 5 mile Turkey Trot. But...somehow that particular workout is eluding me. I've been great at 5 mile BOB runs, and have been not only enjoying them but pushing it, loving the hills, feeling it in my butt as I power up them. I've been running 3 days a week, which is pretty good and fairly normal even in my pre-baby life. Four days would be better (especially if #4 was the speed...).

I've been training a little bit with Bea and Sarita (Sarita, that's twice you've been mentioned! And yet you never comment, so this might be it unless you respond here...even anonymously!). Sarita has recently become very committed and has invited me to join her training sessions so she doesn't cheat as much. Competition is good! And it's been fun for me, I swear I do work hard when I lift by myself, yet it's nothing like being trained. Bea's good, what can I say!

I took one of Bea's spin classes Monday (no school) and it has been a LOOONG time since I spun. I miss it! But I can pretty much never take a weekday class as the early ones are too late and the evening ones are too early. Oh well! More running.

Ok, and one more thing I just noticed...Andra's name is in this blog! musclesANDRA. How weird is that???

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

WebMD piece is up!

And I don't think I look or sound stupid!

Click here!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

BOB run

Great BOB run today. 5 miles in 47:00 (9:25 pace), plus a half mile walk home. Felt strong. It's much better running now that it's not summer.

I'm going to start doing a speedwork session every week again to prepare for a 5 miler on
Thanksgiving. Time to beat (2007) is 41:19, 8:16 pace. Would love 40:40, which would be 8:08 pace which was my 10k PR pace. I wanted 3 PRs this year post-baby, and I have 2 (5k by 3 seconds, and 4 mile). This is doable.

I say all this, but I am not super dedicated to the cause. I will accept an 8:40 or better pace. Eh. At least it's fun!

The pickle costume was too small...a bit too narrow (at least for a cloth diaper butt) and way too short to go over her head. BUT, I know what I'm doing and can whip up a better one in 15 minutes!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Running articles - good reads

Two articles my friend Sarita sent me from the New York Times...good reading.

This one is about the social aspects of marathon training.

This one is about running with the jogging stroller.

Both worth a read!!!

AND...I made a pickle costume. I had vague guidelines from this site and after much trial and error I have the basic shape, but it's possible it might be too small. No big deal if I have to start over now that I know what I'm doing. I will try it on Andra tomorrow and if it works, put on the finishing touches!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Fall running

Did a 6 miler after school yesterday in the cool fall weather! I realized 5 minutes in that I'd forgotten my iPod, but I didn't miss it at all. I ran an old route I used to love (probably for a nice long gradual downhill stretch I always feel strong in). Slower probably than usual (about a 9:45, relaxed pace) but lately I always seem to start runs consciously slow. I think it might be a fear that I can't sustain a fast pace, or that it'll hurt too much, but maybe it's good thing that I'm letting myself warm up a bit and mentally get into the run first. At any rate, I had fun and felt good.